ABC’s “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” reality shows continue to be ratings gold for the broadcast network. But critics say they don’t succeed when it comes to diversity.
Although attorney Rachel Lindsay became the first African American to lead either of these programs when she starred in the 13th season of “The Bachelorette” and soccer player Juan Pablo Galavis was “The Bachelor’s” first Latino lead when he starred in Season 18, there has never been a male African-American star of “The Bachelor” in its 23 seasons.
ABC president Karey Burke was asked about this controversy on Monday when she spoke to journalists at the network’s Television Critics Association press day in Beverly Hills.
“I can tell you, the conversations are ongoing about who the next Bachelor will be,” Burke replied. “I do think that the show has worked hard to increase diversity in casting. And, as that evolves, we’ll continue to see more diversity in the franchise.”
Later, Burke was also asked about the issues surrounding the recently completed chapter of “The Bachelorette.” That finale revealed that chosen suitor Jed Wyatt was already in a relationship when he began competing on the show.
Burke, who started her job at ABC in November, said that she’s still new to this process but that “I’ve been quite impressed by the production company [behind “The Bachelor”] and the show’s interest in continuing to improve and expand its vetting processes.”
“It’s an on-going journey,” she said. “Human behavior is mercurial and I think the show does as good a job as it can vetting contestants.”